Saturday, January 4, 2014

Kid Konnection: The Stowaways by Meghan Marentette

The Stowaways by Meghan Marentette, with illustrations by Dean Griffiths
Pajama Press
ISBN: 978-1927485330
Published October 15, 2013
Hardcover, 240 pages
Ages: 8-12

The Stowaways is a beautiful hardbound book with some illustrations and it’s own red ribbon bookmarker. It’s a middle-grade book about the Stowaway mouse family, a family known for their adventures until Grandpa disappears on one of their journeys. From that moment on, twin brothers Rory and Morgan are not allowed to stray, and Papa refuses to take them farther than a little trip to town.

But feisty Grandma does not believe Grandpa is dead and plans to rescue him. That’s when Rory and Morgan begin a real adventure full of perils and danger. Eventually, their courage and bravery help to unite their family and restore the family’s adventurous spirit.

I began reading this with my almost 10 year-old son and he enjoyed the story until about halfway through. Rory and Morgan are great characters and we could relate to their spats with school friends. Rory has a good relationship with his Grandma and wants to embark on her secret rescue mission. But the rescue mission is a long time in coming. The story includes some long descriptions and my son’s mind tended to wander. He was getting bored. He wanted the adventure to begin.

The author builds the miniature world of the Weedle mice very well, and both my son and I appreciated the inventions of the Stowaway family, from the altered toothbrush broom to the walnut-shell bucket. It was so cute!

Once the rescue mission does start, though, there is more action and the plot thickens. We wonder what will become of Rory and Grandma who get into trouble and how will they ever find Grandpa, if he is still alive. The book includes some black and white illustrations by Dean Griffiths which are classic and simply adorable, but we wished there had been more.

Overall, this a great story, well-written, and reminiscent of E.B. White’s Stuart Little. The ending is touching and realistic. This book will appeal to kids who love adventurous stories with animal characters, but may not appeal as much to reluctant readers because of the high vocabulary level.

Note: This book is rated C = clean read.

Reviewed by Laura & Son 

Disclosure: Thanks to Erin Woods from Pajama Press for sending us this book for review. We were not compensated in any other way, nor told how to rate or review this product.

Every Saturday, Booking Mama hosts a feature called Kid Konnection—a regular weekend feature about anything related to children's books. If you'd like to participate in Kid Konnection and share a post about anything related to children's books (picture, middle grade, or young adult) from the past week, visit Booking Mama.

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